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What Are Syndication Feeds

What Are Syndication Feeds

By Shelley Powers

Syndication feeds have become a standard tool on the Web. You've seen their signposts: a little orange button labeled XML in white letters, or maybe buttons that say Atom, RSS 2.0, RSS 1.0, or even Feed. These are files with content formatted in XML, and they contain a reverse chronologically ordered set of most recently published items.

Most major publications provide some form of feed. In this tutorial, you'll learn about these pervasive little blobs of markup: their purpose, the elements that make up a feed, the different formats, and the tools for generating and consuming feeds.

Syndication feeds have become a standard tool on the Web. You've seen their signposts: a little orange button labeled XML in white letters, or maybe buttons that say Atom, RSS 2.0, RSS 1.0, or even Feed. These are all examples of syndications feeds. They are files with content formatted in XML, and they contain a reverse chronologically ordered set of most recently published items.

Most major publications provide some form of feed. In this tutorial, you'll learn about these pervasive little blobs of markup: their purpose, the elements that make up a feed, the different formats, and the tools for generating and consuming feeds. I'll also show you some of the new variations on feeds, such as podcasting, and the modifications companies such as Microsoft and Apple are adding to the specification.

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